New build, working backwards

Planning on a new system, and as opposed to my prior builds (where I start with a CPU/GPU and work out and I'm limited only by the size of the tower and budget) I have specific goals for this system to meet, but not familiar enough with the hardware to even know if this is going to be possible.

End result: Small footprint, two 1GB hard drives in a raid 1 configuration, optical drive, dual DVI. Cool, preferably with lower air pressure inside than out, and the more passively cooled components the better. Needs enough video juice to log into World of Warcraft (1280x960, lowish graphics) and do dailies, check the AH. Raiding is not necessary; I've already got a system for that. It will be used as a backup to my existing system (literally, it will back up my existing system) as well as the workhorse for surfing, email, et cetera.

Case I was looking at:
APEVIA X-QPACK2-BL/500 Black/ Blue Aluminum Body/ Front Mask MicroATX Desktop Computer Case 500W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811144144

But it's got 5 drive slots, I only need 3 (but I'm not sure how otherwise cramped the case may be). There will be no need for expansion beyond the two hard drives and one optical.

Graphics card must be ATI AMD Radeon but I'm not as religiously devoted to CPU. No need for Crossfire.

What I'm looking for is an idea on CPU/mobo, GPU model, and, more importantly, whether or not I can cram all this stuff in a case as small as I'm envisioning.
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More about build working backwards
  1. Volante3192 said:
    Planning on a new system, and as opposed to my prior builds (where I start with a CPU/GPU and work out and I'm limited only by the size of the tower and budget) I have specific goals for this system to meet, but not familiar enough with the hardware to even know if this is going to be possible.

    End result: Small footprint, two 1GB hard drives in a raid 1 configuration, optical drive, dual DVI. Cool, preferably with lower air pressure inside than out, and the more passively cooled components the better. Needs enough video juice to log into World of Warcraft (1280x960, lowish graphics) and do dailies, check the AH. Raiding is not necessary; I've already got a system for that. It will be used as a backup to my existing system (literally, it will back up my existing system) as well as the workhorse for surfing, email, et cetera.

    Case I was looking at:
    APEVIA X-QPACK2-BL/500 Black/ Blue Aluminum Body/ Front Mask MicroATX Desktop Computer Case 500W Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811144144

    But it's got 5 drive slots, I only need 3 (but I'm not sure how otherwise cramped the case may be). There will be no need for expansion beyond the two hard drives and one optical.

    Graphics card must be ATI AMD Radeon but I'm not as religiously devoted to CPU. No need for Crossfire.

    What I'm looking for is an idea on CPU/mobo, GPU model, and, more importantly, whether or not I can cram all this stuff in a case as small as I'm envisioning.


    The Q-packs are pretty craped cases and Apevia in general is lower quality. I got a Q pack for my moms pc and I hated working in that thing. Also that form factor isn't the best for cooling. I don't think you'll enjoy that case.

    If your really in love with that form factor I would look at something like the lan boxxes from thermaltake:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133044

    Typically that size box is what folkis like to take to lan parties so I am unsure what your interest in that form factor is.

    If you are simply looking for something smaller than a mid tower, I'd look at this size:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007583%20600006305&IsNodeId=1&name=MicroATX%20Mid%20Tower

    Better air flow and still room for a decent graphics card. I can tell you that the apex cases (with the handle) are nice little cases for a budget build. Put a sever in mine and liked working inside, plenty of room for my tastes.

    Right now the best available would be the core i5 sandy bridge with a p67 motherboard. Would help to know your budget.
  2. I'm not expecting to put more than $1k into this, and if somehow we can shoehorn in an ATI 3790, that'd free up the graphics budget...I just remembered I have a spare of those. Course, it's two slots wide and again the theory behind this is to shrink the footprint as much as possible...but I just have no idea if what I'm visualizing is physically possible.

    I'm even thinking a desktop style case would be ok; I could get a desk mount for my other monitor, and put the case where it currently is.

    Not concerned with bleeding edge; in fact, that's sorta opposite of what I'm shooting for. Rather it run cooler and slower than require a massive heatsink / fan assembly.

    Found a better case...
    Thermaltake Element Q VL52021N2U Black SGCC / Plastic Mini-ITX Desktop Computer Case 200W SFX Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133093

    Maybe a bit *too* small...especially after shoving two HDs, and an optical in there...but it's closer to what I'm looking for in terms of size.
  3. The silver stone SG02 seems great for you, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163112&cm_re=sugo-_-11-163-112-_-Product
    fits a full sized PSU and uATX.

    How long can you wait though? The Llano seem great for you, ~Phenom II performance CPU with a Redwood-class GPU, slap in a passive cooler/quiet fan+Tower and you have enough power for the cheaps.
  4. The itx would require a smaller board I think. Such as this:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128484

    However I like the brazos or LLanos idea, that would be a nice little pc. Maybe media center form factor in that case.

    http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=690&name=HTPC-Media-Center-Cases

    The nMedia cases are nice for the price I think.
  5. buzznut said:
    The itx would require a smaller board I think. Such as this:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128484

    However I like the brazos or LLanos idea, that would be a nice little pc. Maybe media center form factor in that case.

    http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=690&name=HTPC-Media-Center-Cases

    The nMedia cases are nice for the price I think.

    Media-center case wise, My personal favorite is the Silver-stone SG05 IMO, $90 at amazon. Silverstones great at SFF (though their full size offerings are quite something as well).

    http://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Aluminum-Steel-Computer-GD05B/dp/B0036WTDGQ
  6. Timop said:
    Media-center case wise, My personal favorite is the Silver-stone SG05 IMO, $90 at amazon. Silverstones great at SFF (though their full size offerings are quite something as well).

    http://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Aluminum-Steel-Computer-GD05B/dp/B0036WTDGQ


    That seems to fit the bill as far as air flow is concerned too. I agree, nice case.
  7. Timop said:
    Media-center case wise, My personal favorite is the Silver-stone SG05 IMO, $90 at amazon. Silverstones great at SFF (though their full size offerings are quite something as well).

    http://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Aluminum-Steel-Computer-GD05B/dp/B0036WTDGQ


    Thirded. That looks dead on ideal. Larger than I'd like...but it pretty much answers my question to how reasonable my expectations were, given everything else i'm putting in, the extra room wouldn't hurt. Gonna put that on my wishlist and I'll see what Llano offers when it comes around. Thanks.
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